Cheat

You came in late,

Informing me of the diner you already had.

You don’t look me in the eye for too long,

A glance and then you hurriedly look away.

You ask me if I’ve had dinner

Knowing very well I hadn’t.

But you’re putting in effort to make conversation;

Too much effort.

I play cool and tell you I haven’t.

You say, “Oh. Okay.”

Pause.

“You should, it’s getting late.”

Pause.

“Don’t wait for me if I get too late.”

I nod in response and,

Go back to the work I’d put on hold

When you rang the doorbell.

You don’t smell of aftershave or musk;

There’s a different scent on you

That’s sweet and, rich.
I walk into the room

To find your shirt discarded on the bed

While you take a midnight shower.

I feel the insides of my stomach churn,

Disappointed by the act –

Both yours and mine.

But there it is,

I find the dreaded stain

I expected but, hoped to not find.

It was a dark brown,

The colour of rich soil.

I place back your shirt

And go back to my work

As I hear the door unlock,

And you step out,

After trying to wash away your sins.

You ask me if I ate

And I tell you I’m not feeling it,

As I wrap up my work

And make my way to bed,

Making sure to keep my back towards you.

I wish me good night

Before turning off the lights

And I mumble it back to you.

I’d sensed your treachery

Last week already

When you dropped a message

About a sudden meeting,

Telling me you’d come late

But I was under the building,

Waiting to surprise you

When I got your message,

As I watched you at the cafe across the road.

I’d sensed it again

When you said you went to the grocery, first

And then later said you went out with the boys

When I asked you about the invisible bags.

I could sense your weight shift slightly towards me,

Checking if I were awake or asleep

Before gently getting up and,

Tiptoeing your way out of our bedroom.

I lied there awake

Listening to your footsteps

That sounded as loud as sirens tonight.

I turned around to face

Crumpled sheets and an empty bed.

I walked out of our bedroom

Knowing exactly which part of the house

I’d catch you red-handed.

And I found you there,

In the dark

With nothing but a ray of white

Falling on your cheating face.

“There chocolate cake is gone.

I gave it to the kids next door today.”

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